A 25-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to biting her 5-year-old son on the face and arms March 4 at their northeast Brainerd home.
Cody Lee Larson, appearing Monday in Crow Wing County District Court, pleaded guilty to felony malicious punishment of a child. Her sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 8.
In exchange for Larson's guilty plea, a second charge of felony malicious punishment of a child, two counts of felony third-degree assault and one count of gross misdemeanor obstructing the legal process, were dismissed.
A presentence investigation was ordered, which will include mental health and other treatments and restitution. Larson was ordered to have no contact with her children unless allowed in a separate civil court proceeding - a child in need of protection or services hearing.
Cody Lee Larson
Larson was arrested after a neighbor called 911 and reported a 5-year-old boy arrived at her home and appeared to have been assaulted.
According to the criminal complaint:
• When an officer arrived at the residence he noticed two contusions underneath the boy's eyes. The boy's face was swollen and bruising was very visible. The skin also appeared to be broken underneath each eye.
• The officer introduced himself to the young boy, who responded spontaneously, "My mommy hurt me," and pointed to his left cheek. The officer asked the boy if he was hurt anywhere else and the boy stated that his arm hurt and pointed to his right upper bicep area. The officer did observe an abrasion in this area.
• The boy later was able to describe to an investigator how his mother had bitten his cheeks and right arm. The boy also added, "My mom told me to leave."
• Two officers went to Larson's residence and observed her lying on a daybed, rolling back and forth on her back violently and screaming loudly. The criminal complaint states that Larson appeared to be highly intoxicated. An officer attempted to speak to Larson, but she was yelling and muttering words. Larson was unable to tell the officer where her children were. Larson continued to move around the home out of control and refused to comply with the officers' commands. She then began to throw herself around the room.
• Larson threw herself against the front door and slammed her head on the glass twice with great force. As officers were escorting her to a squad car, she continued to yell and resist. While being transported to the county jail, she began to thrash violently and repeatedly throw her head into the rear window and squad cage violently. The officer stopped the squad car and Larson began to kick the rear passenger window of the squad with her feet. The officer opened the rear passenger door and ordered Larson to stop kicking. According to the complaint, Larson attempted to kick the officer several times.
• Larson was administered a preliminary breath test at the jail that indicated her blood alcohol level was .218. The 5-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sibling were placed in protective custody.
In her petition to enter a guilty plea, Larson admitted she had previously been a patient in a mental hospital and had been treated by a psychiatrist for a nervous or mental condition but she did not claim that she was so drunk or so under the influence of drugs or medicine that she did not know what she was doing at the time of the crime.
Larson's criminal history shows past violence against her children and against police officers.
In August of 2006, Larson was charged in Mille Lacs County with felony third-degree assault, gross misdemeanor child endangerment, gross misdemeanor obstruction of the legal process and misdemeanor fourth-degree property damage.
While those charges were pending in Mille Lacs County District Court, Larson was charged in September of 2006 in Mille Lacs County with felony third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, two counts of felony fourth-degree assault of a peace officer, gross misdemeanor child endangerment, gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault of a peace officer, gross misdemeanor obstruction of justice and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint filed with the charge of gross misdemeanor child endangerment, a neighbor witnessed an intoxicated Larson choke her 5-year-old son, punch him in the face with a closed fist and bite him on the arm. The neighbor said after each assault on her son Larson denied what had happened.
In 2007 she pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor child endangerment and misdemeanor fourth-degree property damage in the August 2006 case and gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault of a peace officer in the September 2006 case. For the cases, which were sentenced concurrently, she was sentenced to 30 days jail and placed on two years supervised probation.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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